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Don't sneak up, but UBC wants your corpse

Donations naturally diminished (when the COVID hit), but never recovered to pre-pandemic levels. "Ed Moore

Ed Moore, a professor in cellular and physiological sciences at University of B.C., heads the body donor program. It has seen a sharp drop in donors since the start of the pandemic.
B.C. University professor of cell science and physiology, Ed Moore, is responsible for the donation program. is. Since the beginning of the pandemic, donors have declined sharply. Photo by UBC

B.C. University I want your corpse. You may reflexively think "on my corpse" — but listen to them.

UBC has been running a corpse donation program since 1950, with an average of 80-110 people donating corpses each year for educational and research purposes. Students in medicine, biomedical engineering, dentistry, and other disciplines use the body and tissues to learn anatomy and surgical techniques, and to test innovations and new devices.

But, like many turmoil during the pandemic, the flow of the body for science has declined significantly over the past few years. During COVID-19, donations were reduced to 45-50 per year. This is a trend seen at universities in North America.

Ed Moore, a professor of cell science and physiology at UBC, is responsible for the body donation program. He believes this decline was caused by the early shutdown of COVID and the fact that, like everyone else, we were shut down for some time when we learned about the virus.

"Donations have naturally declined at that point, but have never returned to pre-pandemic levels," Moore said.

The University of B.C. has had a body donation program since 1950. Some of the organs and tissues are plastinated for use in anatomical models.
B.C. University Since 1950, a body donation program has been implemented. Some organs and tissues have been plastinated for use in anatomical models. Photo courtesy of UBC

Medical student Armaghan (Army) Alam first treated the body donated during an undergraduate course at McGill University. Make him a surgeon.

In a corpse study at UBC, Alam taught us in more detail about the complexity of the human body and how all panniculi interact to form the whole. Even the best textbooks can never be understood. ”

Alam believes that the lack of word-of-mouth among potential donors during the pandemic contributed to the decline. However, there is also the fact that many education now revolves around virtual and 3D modeling. But he states, "There is absolutely no substitute for human donors."

Alam helped organize a memorial service for them last year because he has great respect for those who have agreed to donate. He eloquently expressed the awe and gratitude that students feel towards their donors. Students are encouraged to consider it the "first patient".

"Then I saw his face. His eyes, mouth, ears, and nose allowed him to experience the beautiful world around him," he said. Said in service. "The brain behind it allowed him to perceive a wonderful lifelong experience, which evolved through millions of decisions, both good and evil, and made him his own human being.

"One of these decisions will have a lasting impact on hundreds of students after he died. He will continue to give after his last breath. A courageous, selfless choice — an incredible choice to donate his body to this program. ”

Moore isn't just for students to benefit. Said. One of the key innovations born from research using donor bodies is the Pro-Neck-Tor helmet device, which helps protect the wearer from spinal cord injury in the event of a major impact.

However, education is the main objective, and Moore points out that its impact extends across generations.

"We train about 1,000 students a year in our anatomy lab," Moore said. "All these medical professionals use the anatomical knowledge learned here in their daily lives. They practice for 30-40 years and all donations train as many people as possible, so everything. Donations will affect the health and well-being of thousands of people over the next few years.

"It's an amazing gift to humanity."

• Program For more information, frequently asked questions, and how to donate, click here

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